Solo travel is a great way to see and experience the world, and can teach you things that you would never have learned otherwise. However, making the decision to take a trip alone can be intimidating and down right scary. Here is some information to help you to take the leap out of your comfort zone and into a new kind of adventure.
- You can go at your own pace
Choose what you want to do, and at what speed you do it. Stop and smell the flowers, read the plaque, skip the hike and go for a swim. You don’t have to bend at the will of anyone else, you can choose how your trip is going to go for yourself – FREEDOM.
- You’ll discover something about yourself
Traveling alone will be challenging but thrilling. You might have big revelation about yourself, or you might discover something small such as that fact that you can indeed survive traveling alone. No matter the size of the lesson learned, you are bound to grown and learn something.
- Make new friends
A person alone is always more approachable than a posse of people, and being alone will help you to try to start up conversations with others.
- I’ll be lonely
I am not going to lie, it is true that at some point on your trip you will feel lonely. Some ways to combat this are to book a group tour, stay at a busy hostel, go to a tourist site and ask someone to take your picture. Sometimes having a lunch or dinner alone can give you some time to plan your day, practice the language, or journal.
- It will be more expensive
Yes, it might be. Hotels charge by the room and not the person so you won’t be able to split the cost with anyone (unless you stay in a hostel where they charge by the bed). If you are on a road trip and you are feeling adventurous, you could also attempt sleeping in your car. If out and about, and need a cab home, try splitting it with another needy party.
- I won’t be as safe
Yes, traveling in numbers can be safer. If traveling alone, there are some easy ways to significantly reduce the risks. Arrive to destinations in daylight, travel on public/busy modes of transportation, and avoid dark alleys.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Like I alluded to above, the busy areas in the day time are a solo traveler’s friend. If you feel sketched out, wait at a nearby cafe or stay at your hotel a little longer.
- Be prepared – If you are well prepared then you will avoid a lot of sticky situations. Have a map, know key phrases, have some cash just in case. If you do find yourself feeling uncomfortable
- [Women] Don’t automatically discount men – Sometimes the person that might be able to help you the most will be a man; just be picky on who you choose to talk to, and make sure it is the right situation. If you feel uncomfortable usually a firm no and some strong body language is all it takes to get someone to back off.
Everyone has different comfort zones – start out small, be prepared and aware of your surroundings, use good judgement and branch out as you go. Have a great adventure!
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